Staying Healthy When working Nights

Working nights
For all my little night owls out there!

I’ve always thought being a night owl was something to do with being depressed to be honest but having been doing so much better in the last year I’ve realised I am just not a morning person and never will be. Handy then, that in order to pay the bills, I work in a club! I get a lot of questions asking me how I do it and stay sane so I thought a little insight into my day to day life might be useful for anyone else out there living that nocturnal lifestyle.

Humans are actually not meant to be active at night time; we don’t have much of an appetite over night as this is when our body is supposed to be digesting, fasting and restoring itself. Working nights affects your digestive health and can cause heart problems so staying as healthy as possible is really important. Over the past 18 months of working nights I have employed a few tips and tricks into my routine to ensure I don’t totally lose the plot.

  • FOOD
    By far the most important thing is sorting out your diet and making sure as much as possible that you stick to a ‘normal’ meal plan. Even if I wake up at 3pm I know I need to have breakfast and then have lunch at maybe 6pm and dinner right before work, if I don’t do this I might grab something quick in a store and the hungrier I am the more likely I am to choose something that isn’t going to do wonders for me ie. crisps. I’ve also learned that we shouldn’t have too much iron in our evening meal before work as it can cause your liver to get out of whack which causes your glucose metabolism issues.
    Some of my friends that I work with are big meal preppers and will bring their dinner to work with them and eat right before we start, this is a great way to keep costs down too.
  • CAFFEINE
    Don’t overdo the energy drinks and coffee.
    This is one I do not stick to but I definitely feel the benefits when I do.
    Whilst I’m at work I want that morning buzz that most people get from their morning coffee so I drink sugar free red bull and diet coke a lot and it massively affects my sleep when I get home. I’ve been trying to cut down or at least only drink for the first half of my shift to make sure I can still get enough sleep once I am home. I also drink water throughout the night to stay hydrated and feel as healthy as possible.
  • EXERCISE
    Exercising is basically the best thing for everyone to be doing; it gives you all the happy hormones, ensures a more restful sleep and helps maintain mental clarity.
    If I haven’t worked out all week I know I feel groggy and bent out of shape so as much as possible I try to stick to a regular routine and not make excuses. Obviously there are times when I’m knackered/hungover and I allow myself to stay in bed and get enough rest, it’s all about balance and listening to your body.
  • SLEEP
    I am a notorious napper and I’ve found a way of sleeping that works for me but the majority of people do not feel well-rested unless they have eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, this can be difficult with the light shining through your curtains and noisy housemates pottering about the house. A great solution I’ve found is an eyemask, I used to hate these things but honestly they can be a godsend when you are exhausted and I have a new one that is slightly weighted which for some reason makes me feel so relaxed- not much research has been done on this but users tend to like them.
    I also use headphones if there is a lot of outside noise, this may sound ridiculous to you but I listen to old recordings of The Ricky Gervais radio shows and I am out like a light everytime.
    If all else fails, invest in black out curtains and listen to whale music!
  • SCHEDULE
    This one is hard, most people live in reverse to us night owls so when it comes time for friend’s birthday lunches and family meet -ups it’s difficult to get enough sleep and still go to these occasions. I am just mindful of each one, I know I need enough sleep in order to function or I literally feel nauseated all day which would make the occasion miserable anyway. If it’s something I really want to do then I’ll usually let people know I’m coming but two hours later than everyone else, most people understand when you say you’ve gotten in at 6am. If it’s an unavoidable situation, for example, an early morning audition which happens to me quite a lot then during the night shift I make sure I don’t overdo the caffeine, I get an uber home as soon as I’m done, grab a quick healthy snack once I’m home and jump into bed for however long I can.

    Like this content? Leave me a comment and let me know.
    Lucy Anna Jackson

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